Spice up your XP with Microsoft Power Toys

Now this is for Windows XP users who have not yet updated themselves with Windows Vista or the upcoming Windows 7 due to low system configuration or any personal reason.

PowerToys is a set of utility programs developed by Microsoft to enhance the functionalities of its products after development. In this post we’ll concentrate on the PowerToys made available for Windows XP.

Windows XP PowerToys consists of a brilliant collection of 14 utility tools that can be downloaded independently according to users choice. These tools let you do most of the complicated tasks the easy way. Lets see what all does this package contain.

1) Color Control Panel Applet : This is an essential tool for photographers who are concerned about the accuracy and consistency of the display color from file to screen to print. This tool adds a new utility to your control panel from where you can manage the Windows color settings.

Color Control Panel Applet

2) SyncToy: This tool will help you manage all the loads of files you get daily from your portable devices. Customize the way you want to store pictures from your cellphone, camera and portable drives. A great tool to reduce the hectic job of copy pasting files, renaming them, etc. And the best part is. Incase of a rename setting, SyncToy will keep track and synchronize the rename actions.

SyncToy

3) RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer: As the name suggests, RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer lets you view thumbnails of RAW files and view them as easy as a JPEG file. Pretty useful for Professional Photographers.

4) ClearType Tuner: This is basically an enhancement tool which will enable you to adjust the text visibility on your screen using the CLearType technology.

5) HTML Slideshow Wizard: Simple! Lets you create HTML Slideshow of your photos and upload on your website.

6) Open Command Window Here: Opening the command window on a specified Folder location is made just a click away.

7) Alt-Tab Replacement: No no no. This does not replace the shortcut-keys, but replaces the basic frame that shows the icons of Open files when you use the keys. It is replaced by a screenshot of the applications which is very useful when multiple instances of the applications are in use.

8) Tweak UI: This tool gives you access to special settings in XP which is not available to an XP default user.

9) Power Calculator: Great for Engineers. Gives you a graph of the functions carried out and performs various conversions.

Power Calc

10) Image Resizer: This is one of my favorite tools of this pack. This tool lets you resize images in bulk with easy configurations. You can save alot of space with this tool.

Image Resizer

11) CD Slideshow Generator: This tools lets you see Images burned onto a CD like a slideshow.

12) Virtual Desktop Manager: This tool adds 4 desktops to your XP which can be managed from the taskbar.

13) Taskbar Magnifier: This tool lets you magnify a part of the screen from a taskbar.

14) Webcam TimerShot: Lets you take shots from your connected webcam at specified time intervals.

Note: Most the tools are available on Windows Vista as well, and can also run on previous versions of Windows.